Spring Starflower

Ipheion uniflorum

Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Ipheion (IF-ee-on) (Info)
Species: uniflorum (yoo-nee-FLOR-um) (Info)
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Light Blue

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Solgohachia, Arkansas

Citrus Heights, California

Fremont, California

Huntington Beach, California

Irvine, California

Long Beach, California

Los Altos, California

San Diego, California

San Francisco, California

Simi Valley, California

Stockton, California

Vallejo, California

Washington, District Of Columbia

Gainesville, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Lindsborg, Kansas

Louisville, Kentucky

Shreveport, Louisiana

Laurel, Maryland

Owosso, Michigan

Joplin, Missouri

Newton, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Wilsons Mills, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Painesville, Ohio

Ada, Oklahoma

Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina

Laurens, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas

Clarksville, Texas

De Leon, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Garland, Texas

Houston, Texas

Lubbock, Texas (2 reports)

Nevada, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Wilmer, Texas

Norfolk, Virginia

Roanoke, Virginia

North Bend, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 28, 2015, ezinsser from Alberton
South Africa (Zone 9b) wrote:

I planted some 2000 bulbs in 2003 in a shady area under the large kapok, walnut and mulberry trees. The area is in full winter sun (i.e. May, June, July, August) and the bulbs need a weekly watering from April until blooming in August. The leaves and flowers start wilting after September but I leave the bulbs in the ground despite heavy summer rains (from October to February). The plant height never exceeds 15cm and the masses of blooms are a soft purple-tinged white. They are only now beginning to spread to areas adjacent to the original planting area. Excellent companian plants are Leucojums and blue/white Hyacinths.


On May 6, 2015, tabasco from Cincinnati (Anderson Twp), OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Location: Zone 6, Southwestern Ohio.

We have grown Ipheion uniflorum for ten years in a neglected spot in the garden that gets no irrigation and part sun and it has thrived. I like it because it's easy to grow and the critters ignore it. For best flowering, select a sunny planting site and, when planting new bulbs, set them about 3 inches apart and 3 inches deep, measuring to the base of the bulb. Late summer after the foliage has died down is the best time to move or thin them.

Ipheion blooms in our garden with purple allium, azaleas, median iris, early hardy geraniums, columbine, camassia, spring clematis, lily of the valley, and bluebells. Brent & Becky recommend planting it as a garden edging so we are dividing our clumps and trying that suggestion... read more


On Feb 7, 2015, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- Ipheion uniflorum was abundant in our yard when we bought the house in 1988. It is still present, although conversion of major areas to xeriscape has eliminated a lot of it. It does fine with the every other week summer water that keeps the Bermuda grass front lawn growing and is scattered throughout the lawn in full sun. It also still grows in a few watered beds. The foliage smells like onions when it is crushed.


On Mar 17, 2013, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I can imagine a blanket of these in a woodland setting but not in a regular cultivated garden--too weedy looking, IMO. I tried some but will plant no more. Instead, will focus on growing i. Rolf Fiedler, which is a showier blue and suitable for a residential as well as woodland setting.


On Mar 4, 2012, suguy from Simi Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A long-time favorite bulb of mine and harbinger of Spring here in Southern California.
It starts blooming in mid-February.

I grow the blue-flowered species (uniflorum), a white one (Albert Castillo) and Rolf Fiedler (an intense blue with bigger blooms).
All are super-easy and delightful.

They naturalize here and multiply every year.
You can't have enough of these.


On Feb 21, 2012, david3payne from Lubbock, TX wrote:

Update from Lubbock, TX [elevation, 3250']
Microclimate! I transplanted one blooming clump
to the south-facing foundation of my neighbor's
house, ca. 2009. In January 2012, the clump was
in bloom in late Jan. and continued despite
snow and low temp. ca. 14F in early Feb.
Quite a color contrast with pink-flowering Oxalis!


On Mar 23, 2009, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. Spring Starflower (Ipheion uniflorum) is an introduced plant that can be found naturalized in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Loiusiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.


On Mar 23, 2009, eatmyplants from Comanche county, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I found these beautiful plants growing wild all along the banks of a creek. They are in full bloom now and have been blooming over a month. They are all growing in filtered shade and deep shade underneath trees, so full sun is not necessary. Some are almost white. They grow very shallow and transplant easily. I highly recommend them.


On Oct 14, 2006, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

All the Ipheions and their related subspecies are native to South America (southern Brazil, Chili, and Uruguay) and are called Spring Starflowers. They are great naturalizing bulbs for Texas and the southern United States--but in Texas they should not be confused with either the Prairie Celestial Lily (Nemastylus geminiflora) or the Prairie Nymph (Herbertia lahue). These two species are both native to Texas and quite frankly very different with very obvious flower and bulb morphology differences from the Ipheions.

Ipheion uniflorum and other related Ipheon species bloom earlier in the season in my garden and have happily naturalized in areas with good drainage for 20 years. I love the Ipheions for their very early spring blooms!

All the Ipeion species are ha... read more


On Apr 12, 2005, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This lovely flower was found growing at the Lady Bird Johnson wild flower center in Austin.


On Feb 20, 2005, tubaPERTL from Lubbock, TX (Zone 7a) wrote:

Ipheion grows on many lawns in semi-arid Lubbock, whether or not lawns are being watered. In my area, close to the Texas Tech Univ. campus, many homes have become rental properties for students. Walking the area in spring 2004, I was delighted to note many examples of Ipheion and Muscari.

Only in Fall 2004 did I notice the sprouting of the new season's leaves. I did not plant Ipheion, but thought the area
was the where I'd planted Chiondoxa. The Ipheion, apparently, is an heirloom along the west foundation of my
55-yr-old house. No problem with the 3 low for Dec 24/25.

Friday, a friend asked me about the "blue flower" around his grandmother's former residence -- one with leaves smelling of onions. Yes, Ipheion is an heirloom bulb over all centra... read more


On Mar 6, 2004, celtic_dolphin from Boone, NC (Zone 4b) wrote:

I absolutely LOVE this flower! It multiplied from a mere 20 bulbs to hundreds in just three years! Some say it's invasive, but I say you can never have too many. It looked beautiful combined with Perrenial Candytuft and Grape Hyacinths in Zone 7. I'm in Zone 6 now and can't wait to see how well they do here.


On Jan 24, 2004, ladywelder66 from Norfolk, VA wrote:

This flower is a beautiful surprise down south when it pops up every spring in my grandmother's backyard. The bloom time is short but sweet. It looks better spreading all over a lawn, naturalized, because the foilage is so tiny, you don't notice it in your lawn the rest of the year.Great plant!


On Mar 18, 2003, Ulrich from Manhattan Beach, CA (Zone 11) wrote:

Has a scent like Violets.


On Aug 8, 2001, killerdaisy from Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Blooms best when crowded. Hardy to zone 7, zone 5 with winter mulch. Snails and slugs can be problematic.